Lately I’ve become unintentionally appreciative of small blessings in my life. It’s one thing to remind oneself to “stop and smell the roses,” or to start a thankfulness journal, but it seems recently moments of appreciation have just started cropping up here and there for me, unbidden.
I first noticed this a couple of weeks ago when one evening, while taking my nightly shower, I suddenly felt very thankful for the warm, comforting spray of water and thought about those who don’t have access to a warm shower, or even clean water to wash with at all. There was a period of time in my life when I had nothing but cold water to shower with, and though that time is long past, I remember how miserable it was and hope to never be in that predicament again.
A day or so later, on returning home from buying my weekly groceries, as I am buying only for myself now, I looked at the shelves of the cabinet and the refrigerator, holding all I would need for the week, food that I could choose and pay for myself, and felt very thankful for it. I remember a time in the past when I had to endure what I felt was the humiliation of having to use food stamps for a few months, and a time later on when a family member’s sudden job loss necessitated a few visits to our local food bank so as to survive. I was grateful for the very temporary assistance, as I’m sure many are these days in our current economy, but I’m even more grateful for the ability to provide for myself.
These and other realizations of appreciation followed: warm clothes fresh and clean from the dryer, a small sweet dog curled up against my back as I sleep, public transportation with heated buses that arrive on time, the brisk wind from the west off the Pacific that blows one’s mind clear of cobwebs, and on and on…
I have a secure job, a comfortable roof over my head, health insurance, clothes, hobbies I enjoy, good health, and most importantly, people I love and who love me. Could anyone be more wealthy?
I know Christmas is long past, but this song applies year round, and it’s my favorite version, by Diana Krall. Listen and count your own many blessings today: